Climate change

Letter: Routt GOP’s ‘do nothing’ approach to climate change is a missed opportunity

I’m disappointed. Routt County Republicans had a half-page opinion piece in the Pilot & Today regarding climate change and the “costs” of the Routt County Climate Action Plan. There are a lot of excellent conservative thinkers and policy experts out there, so I was hopeful that what we would read in the article would be policy alternatives to this plan.

It’s good that climate change was acknowledged as “real” in the article, but there was a quick pivot to the claim that there is “no consensus” on the human impact. (They’re right. There isn’t a 100% consensus of all climate scientists. However, the vast majority fall squarely into the “humans have a huge impact” camp.)

Instead, what we read was the old list of “what’s wrong with wind and solar”, and the “other countries will continue to emit” argument, and the statement “the models are unreliable. (By the way, I’ve done modeling for the oil and gas industry. I know how complicated modeling is. It’s hard to know if you have the “right” answer. However, sometimes you’re satisfied with understand the range of possibilities. .)

So what is advocated in this opinion piece? Do we really need to split hairs to find out if climate change is causing one or three fewer months of ski season (and the resulting one to three months of additional wildfires) with its economic impact in the Routt County? Are we going to play chicken with other countries to see who will blink first and unilaterally reduce their emissions?

Do we say “it’s impossible” and leave the potential consequences to our descendants? Or are we innovating to address some of the challenges of renewable energy? Are we creating new industries around this effort and helping other countries implement them? Are we setting an example for other countries and implementing policies that move us in the direction needed with the least disruption?

Unfortunately, the conclusion seems to be that we should do nothing. The status quo is advocated as the best course of action. It’s a missed opportunity. Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”

Another way of thinking is, “You keep doing the same things and you’ll get the same results.” I hope we can do better.

Ron Wackowski

Steamboat springs